Friday, May 29, 2015

San Diego May 2015 - Day 1

Early this month I traveled to San Diego. As I have many times, I took Amtrak to San Diego, then used public transportation once I arrived. This was a quilting trip, as well as an opportunity to eat at a fancy restaurant.

Tuesday, May 5

During my ride on the train I got pretzels for a snack. I liked the color combination of the package, which could end up being the inspiration for a quilt: blue and white, with pops of gold, red and black.

On the bus between Bakersfield and Los Angeles
More quilt inspiration, this time from the design on the back of a bus seat. Blue background with white inserts.

During the bus ride I sat next to a very nice lady who lives in Fresno and happens to be a quilter. What fun it was to talk to someone who spoke my language.

Let me back up a bit. At the train station in my town, the train was delayed by quite a long time. I spoke to an older gentleman waiting on the bench that we shared. He pointed out his daughter, who was visiting. She was an acupuncturist, very smart, like her mother. She had two offices in San Diego.

Fast forward to Los Angeles. The bus was late getting to the train station. With many other people, I hurried to try to catch the train. I spotted the acupuncturist, who was wearing a very distinctive jacket, running through the train's long corridor. Turns out we missed the train to San Diego. I spoke to the acupuncturist, who got information that we could catch the next train, at no extra charge. I hung out with her during the wait, and sat with her on the train. Her name is Jocelyn, and she knits. Wow! We are now Facebook friends.

I was supposed to ride all the way into downtown San Diego, but when I heard that the train would stop in Old Town, I decided to get off at that station. Since I would have taken the trolley back to this very spot, it seemed to be the smart thing to do. I said goodbye to Jocelyn and left the train with my carry-on.

Waiting for a bus to Ocean Beach
The sign shows several methods of transportation, most of which I've taken in San Diego on various trips. I haven't taken the Coaster, a commuter train, yet. Perhaps I will someday.

I wasn't exactly sure where to get off the bus. I was trying to use my GPS app, while texting with my friend Ramin. In a panic, I got off the bus at the same time as a guy who seemed to be local and I just started walking. After a while I sensed that I wasn't going in the right direction. My phone was acting funny, so that didn't help. I found that I was several blocks off course. I backtracked to the bus stop. My GPS told me it was a 20 minute walk to the hotel. Add to that the 20 minutes I spent walking the wrong way and back. The whole trip from bus to hotel was supposed to be 7 minutes. Argh! 

By the time I got to the hotel I was pretty tired. I checked in and learned that my room was on the third floor. There was no elevator, my suitcase was heavy, and I was weary. The desk manager volunteered to carry my suitcase to my room. What a nice lady.

After I got settled, I wanted to have some dinner. It was Cinco de Mayo, so Mexican food was the appropriate choice. I went to the front desk and asked the lady for recommendations (within a couple of blocks). She gave the names of two restaurants. One of them, Nati's, I had seen on my way to the hotel. As I walked down the street, I scanned for the other restaurant, the name of which escapes me now. I stopped at a candy store for snacks, asking the clerk for the other restaurant, which he'd never heard of. Nati's it was, then.

Nati's Mexican Restaurant
I sat on the patio, which I like to do when I'm on vacation.

The food was very good. The margarita was nice, too. A great meal for Cinco de Mayo.

By the time I got back to the hotel I was exhausted and there was no way I would try to set up to sew. I watched TV on my tablet for a while, then fell asleep.


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